Charging for charity regulation, questioning commercial partners

The Charity Commission has said that it will consult in the spring on charging charities for regulation. It has been working on a number of funding proposals which bring this in.

The Commission’s public meeting on Monday (29th February) floated a a number of options which may appear in the consultation, including a fixed fee of £140 a year for all registered charities and a fixed fee of £265 a year for all registered charities with incomes over £10,000 a year.

After consultation, a proposal would be put to government ministers in the autumn, with any resulting system not implemented until 2018/19.

See Civil Society News coverage for more. Also commentary on Civil Society News ‘Wooing the voluntary sector into paying for its regulation may be a tough sell for the Commission‘.

Recent research for the Charity Finance Group didn’t identify a consensus as to who should pay for “a well-resourced, independent charity regulator” – see our January news item ‘Questions around paying for charity regulation‘.

Chair’s speech

The text of the speech to the public meeting by the Charity Commission’s chair William Shawcross is available. The meeting was the first that the Commission has streamed live online – some glitches we understand, and no sign of a recording being made available.

Commercial partnerships alert

On the same day, the Commission issued an alert to charity trustees, “warning them to review any commercial relationships they may have”.

Charities have many legitimate commercial arrangements raising funds for good works, however trustees need to protect the reputation of their charity and ensure their actions reflect the values of their charity as well as meeting legal requirements.

The alert sets out the expectations of the commission including: checking for conflicts of interest; ensuring arrangements are properly documented and reviewed regularly; and, that the commercial benefits to the charity are made clear. It is being published publicly and sent to the 1,700 charities that the commission knows to have some form of commercial arrangement.

See official news item or direct to the commercial partnerships alert.